If you’re wondering how to get pregnant with an irregular period, let me tell you:
I’ve been there.
In fact, my husband and I tried for 18 months before finally getting pregnant with our first child.
Mostly because of my damn irregular cycle.
It could have been much faster if I knew what I know now about how to get pregnant with an irregular period.
Instead, there were many months of disappointment and heartbreak along the way.
But you know what?
I learned a lot during that time while trying to figure out what the heck we were doing wrong.
So much so that when it came time to try for our second child, I had figured out how to get pregnant fast with irregular periods.
And I did. This time it only took 5 months.
I had learned from the “mistakes” that I made the first time.
So whether you’re just starting out or have been struggling for awhile-
DON’T GIVE UP!
In this post I’m going to tell you exactly how I took control of my fertility and conceived naturally even with an irregular cycle.
I’ll also answer questions you might have such as:
- Can you get pregnant anytime with irregular periods?
- How do you know when you’re ovulating with irregular periods?
- How can I increase my chances of getting pregnant with irregular periods?
My hope is that my own experience trying to get pregnant with irregular periods will be helpful to you in your journey.
I am NOT a doctor. This is just my experience. Please see your medical provider if you’re experiencing difficulties conceiving.
Let’s go over some basic stuff first:
Can you get pregnant anytime with irregular periods?
The answer is yes because you can ovulate at any time. This unpredictability of ovulation though (and sometimes lack there of for extended weeks), can also make it harder to get pregnant.
I’ll admit that before my husband and I started trying to conceive, I didn’t really know how ovulation worked or how long it lasted.
I needed a lesson in reproduction.
That’s when I learned that there is only a short 3-5 day window of opportunity each cycle in which a woman can become pregnant. This is known as the fertile window.
So while it’s possible to conceive anytime with irregular periods, this is where the challenge comes in.
If you don’t know when your fertile window is and it’s different each cycle due to irregular periods, it is super easy to miss the opportunity.
Trust me, I did this many times before figuring it out.
How do you know when you’re ovulating with irregular periods?
One of the best ways to figure out when you’re ovulating is to track your cycle in a fertility app (I used the Ovia app). For me, this was essential in my journey to getting pregnant with irregular periods.
Let me tell you why:
I was on birth control pills for 17 years. And after I went off of it I had no idea when my cycle would return or what the length of it would be when it did.
So I started tracking it as soon as I went off the pill.
This was important because sometimes half the battle of getting pregnant is just TIMING.
If you don’t have sex at the right time (when you’re ovulating), you won’t get pregnant. Simple as that.
Let me explain further by saying my periods were all over the place! A “normal” menstrual cycle is 28 days hence why you get your period once a month…
Sometimes I got my period every 46 days, 52 days, 36 days. Apparently, I’m not normal.
So how do you know when you’re ovulating with irregular periods?
You track everything...
…the length of your cycles, symptoms, moods, and other signs of fertility available in the app like cervical mucus and basal body temperature. All of these will help you determine the days of the “month” when you are ovulating and most fertile (a.k.a your fertile window).
I go into this in more detail in this post here.
But how do you know with 100% certainty that you’re in your fertile window?
In combination with tracking my cycle, I used these ovulation tests to determine my 2 most fertile days each month. The test gives you a smiley face when you’re ovulating so you know it’s time to get it on!
Was it annoying to have to pee on these sticks multiple days every month?
But, with each passing month, you don’t want to be wondering:
“Did we do it at the right time?”
You want to know for sure. And to me, knowing that we were having sex at the right time was more important than anything.
But unfortunately, just because you pinpoint the right timing doesn’t always mean you’ll get pregnant that cycle.
Sadly, I also experienced this many times.
So I wondered:
How Can I Increase My Chances of Getting Pregnant With Irregular Periods?
If you’ve been asking yourself this same question and are already tracking your cycles and getting the timing right, below are some of the things that my husband and I did to naturally increase our chances of conceiving and carrying a healthy pregnancy.
Prepare Your Body For Pregnancy
First, if you want to get pregnant fast with an irregular period, you’ll want to prepare your body to become pregnant. This includes some possible lifestyle changes as well as added supplements. Some of these things I really wish I had done sooner the first time I tried to get pregnant (but I did them right away when trying for second kiddo).
Take Your Vitamins
If you’re not already taking a prenatal vitamin, now is a good time to start.
Why is this so important?
While there’s no evidence to suggest that taking a prenatal vitamin will help you conceive, you still want your body to be READY to welcome a healthy pregnancy.
There’s a ton of fetal development that occurs in just the first few weeks of pregnancy alone that is critical to the baby’s health.
If you take a prenatal for at least one month prior to conception, you’ll lessen the chance of birth defects in the event that you do become pregnant. (source)
It would be just awful to finally get pregnant only to have it slip away because you were missing key nutrients for pregnancy provided by prenatals.
Honestly, I think most prenatal vitamins are hard to swallow and taste terrible.
If there’s a prenatal that’s just one pill out there that isn’t awful, I’d love to know about it.
Otherwise, I say go for these gummy prenatal vitamins (waaaaay yummier).
But taking a prenatal vitamin was just part of the equation to prepare my body for a possible pregnancy.
It wasn’t until after over a year of prenatals and still not getting pregnant that I did something that I felt really boosted my fertility.
My sister made a suggestion (she is a mother, NOT a doctor). She told me to take 1000 mg of calcium with vitamin D as well as 500 mg of fish oil per day.
I had no idea that omega-3’s from fish oil are linked to higher fertility (source).
And calcium is actually an essential nutrient for getting pregnant. (source) Not to mention you also need a ton of it when you are pregnant.
And that long or irregular menstrual cycle you’ve got?
Vitamin D may help to regulate it, which can make your fertile window more predictable from month to month. (source)
I’m very happy that I listened to my big sis because 3 months after adding in the calcium with vitamin D and fish oil, we were finally pregnant!
So take my advice and go get yourself some vitamins!
Improve Your Diet
In addition to taking my vitamins, improving my diet was one of the easier things I did to increase my fertility.
I felt like I was taking control.
I’ve always considered myself a generally healthy eater. But let’s face it, there’s always room for improvement in our diets.
If there was ever a time to make my body the healthiest, this was it. And I had the motivation.
I took a hard look at what I was eating.
Soda was swapped for water. Processed foods were swapped for more whole foods.
It’s not about being perfect. But being mindful and making even small changes to add more nutrients can help.
I really started focusing on getting more fertility boosting foods into my diet including:
- whole grains
- fruits and vegetables
Think fresh fruit smoothies – quick and easy! Oatmeal or granola with yogurt and berries. Veggie egg scramble with avocado.
I also love to cook, so experimenting with different recipes that would nourish my body to become pregnant was fun and delicious too.
Stop Drinking So Much
This was a hard one for me.
When we were having difficulties getting pregnant, I just wanted to cringe when friends would recommend to just get drunk and have sex…
….like we hadn’t tried that!
And I wondered if alcohol was actually having a NEGATIVE effect on my fertility.
I love my wine!
But after so many months of not getting pregnant, I finally felt like I really needed to take a hard look at how much I was drinking.
It seemed like there was always some social event going on however big or small giving me an excuse to enjoy another glass…or 3.
I was probably having around 10-12 drinks a week on a regular basis. Yikes.
I started researching into alcohol and fertility and read that drinking wine, specifically, makes extra estrogen in the body.
Excess estrogen messes with your cycle.
Since I already had irregular periods, I decided that I didn’t need to be having a drink at every opportunity.
I didn’t give up wine completely. BUT I definitely made a conscience effort to cut down to around 3-4 drinks a week.
That mostly meant saying “no” when offered drinks during the day when visiting friends or out to lunch.
I’d save it for 1 occasional drink in the evening instead. And less wild nights out at the karaoke bar, of course 😉
Besides, once you do get pregnant you won’t be able to drink at all. You might as well start getting used to it now!
Have Sex Often To Get Pregnant Fast With Irregular Periods
Having sex often when trying to conceive might seem like a no-brainer to some.
You might be wondering though:
“If I can only get pregnant during my fertile window, why does having sex on other days of the month matter?”
Research has shown that having regular sex actually increases your chances of getting pregnant. (source)
For one, having sex every few days will lessen the chance that you miss your fertile window.
This is especially true if you want to get pregnant fast with an irregular cycle.
This way you won’t miss your opportunity to conceive each month if you mis-track your cycle (like me!) or are just too busy to track your cycle and you don’t notice your body saying, “Hey! I’m ovulating!”
Another reason you should have sex regularly is so your partner’s sperm stay “fresh”.
Just like your egg, his sperm have a life cycle too.
One study shows that ejaculating every 2-3 days is the optimal interval to maintain healthy sperm. It was also associated with increased pregnancy rates. (source)
If your guy doesn’t ejaculate for 1-2 weeks, otherwise, he might have an influx of dead and decayed sperm. This only makes it harder for you to conceive.
The opposite also rings true. If he’s ejaculating too often, he may have too little sperm for conception to occur. (source)
This doesn’t mean you have to do it on a schedule though. That’s no fun.
And you certainly don’t want to feel like sex has become a job.
It’s just something to keep in mind while you’re trying to conceive.
Maybe 2-3 days isn’t realistic for you. I get it!
We tried not to go more than 5 days without having sex. Sometimes it was less, but never more than 5.
And when my fertile window came (once I figured out when that was), we tried every other day or more.
So keep having regular sex! And of course, try to maximize all of your fertile days.
Make Champion Swimmers!
Even if you’ve pinpointed your ovulation with an irregular cycle, there is still the obstacle of your partner’s sperm making it to your egg. (Hey, after all it’s not only about you!)
Those little swimmers have a lot of rough terrain to go through and most of them just get stuck along the way.
My husband and I thought it’d be a good idea to make sure that he was also getting the nutrients he needed to turn those swimmers into champions.
First, he took a daily multi-vitamin for men (these ones). They contain all the essential vitamins and minerals for creating healthy sperm including Lycopene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium and Zinc.
Secondly, we boosted his fertility and sperm quality with a daily regimen of ashwagandha.
You’re probably wondering:
What the heck is that?!
Ashwagandha is a root that grows in India and North Africa, used for thousands of years as a natural Ayurvedic medicine.
Through some research, we learned that studies have shown that it can increase fertility especially in men (you can read more about that here).
Once my husband started taking the ashwagandha we became pregnant soon after. So I believe it really helped!
You can even take it too to increase your own fertility (although I didn’t).
The ashwagandha we used is this one here.
The last thing we did was to use a specialized lube to increase the chances of sperm meeting egg.
The lube mimics the body’s own fertile cervical fluid and makes it easier for the sperm to swim.
If you didn’t know, regular lubes actually make it harder for sperm to swim, so if you try this be sure to use a sperm-friendly lube (like this one).
We used it the night we got pregnant, and I’m so happy we did!
Change Your Beauty Products
Ok, this might sound like a weird one, which is why I have saved it for last.
But have you checked what’s in your beauty products lately?
You might be surprised to learn that your cosmetics, soap, shampoo, lotion and deodorant, to name a few, all contain phthalates.
What’s that and what’s it got to do with my fertility?
Phthalates are endocrine disrupting chemicals used in plastics and personal care products. These nasty chemicals are known to interfere with the reproductive system and contribute to infertility.
- ovulation dysfunction
- menstruation disruption
- increased risk of endometriosis
Unfortunately phthalates are found everywhere! From that plastic cup you just drank your iced coffee out of to your computer mouse.
The best thing you can do to reduce exposure to phthalates is to check your daily beauty regimen and make some swaps. This was one of the last changes that I made just a few months before I finally got pregnant.
Was that the smoking gun? I’ll never know.
So go into your bathroom and pull out all the beauty products you use every day. Do a little googling to see which of those items contain phthalates.
And STOP using them!
At least temporarily. Or at least some of them? I know it can be hard giving up your favorite products, but it’s so worth it if it gives you that extra fertility boost you need to get pregnant.
If you’re still with me and feel like that was a lot to take in, it was!
But these are all the things that I learned about how to get pregnant with an irregular period that worked for me. Perhaps you’ve heard some of them before. Or perhaps there’s something new from my experience that you can implement into your own journey.
Whether it’s better cycle tracking, using ovulation tests, adding more vitamins or Ashwaganda root or seeing if a sperm-friendly lube does the trick, there’s lots to try.
If you’re really struggling though, please see your doctor for the best advice for YOU (since, remember, I am NOT one).
Best wishes and good luck to you!